As the Brooklyn Nets commence with their first year of play in New York City’s most populous borough, without question, the centerpiece of the new look franchise is superstar point guard Deron Williams. Now in his eighth NBA season, the former Utah Jazz floor leader cemented his standing with the revitalized roster, after inking a five-year/$98.7 million deal over the summer.
Prior to the start of this season, the Illinois-alum averaged 17.6 points and 9.2 assists per game. Entering Wednesday’s tilt with the Golden State Warriors, the two-time Olympic gold medalist (2008, 2012) has kept it rolling, tallying 18.4 points and 8.2 assists per contest.
Tuesday, per the above iFolloSports.com original video, the well respected ball handler provided LA hoops fans with a bevy of autographs and photos, outside the Montage Beverly Hills hotel. This luxury property is located 10 miles west of Staples Center, the site of that evening’s 95-90 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Notice how cameras from the NBA TV series “The Association” are also following Williams’ walk to his team’s charter bus.
In addition to the early season matchup with the Lakers, Williams’ trip to Southern California was also noteworthy for all of the media coverage surrounding his relationship with new LA center Dwight Howard.
It was believed that Howard had initially desired to take his talents to Brooklyn, via free agency, but instead elected not to initiate his contract’s early-termination clause, after last season. Since Howard remained under contract with the Magic, it was up to the Orlando front office to find a new home for the prolific big man, with the team of course choosing to go with the Lakers offer, as opposed to the package being put forth by the Nets.
Since Williams had what was considered a close relationship with Howard, the Nets franchise player was believed to be the number one Brooklyn recruiter of his 2008 Olympic teammate. Now that Howard is ensconced with the Lakers, the one-time friendship is not at all what it used to be (particularly if you believe the comments of Mr. Howard).
In no surprise whatsoever, while Howard elected to publicly express his opinions, Williams made the decision to take the high road and not return fire.
Based on a wide array of evidence, Mr. Williams appears to be an extremely classy individual.